DraftKings applies for UK gambling license

TAGs: daily fantasy sports, DraftKings, golf, UK Gambling Commission, us open

draftkings-uk-gambling-commission-licenseDaily fantasy sports (DFS) operator DraftKings has applied for UK gambling licenses.

As initially spotted by Twitter user @Bigo1_, the website of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) currently shows DraftKings’ applications for both ‘gambling software’ and ‘pool betting’ licenses as “in progress.” There is no timeline for when said applications might be processed.

While DraftKings is known to be pinning a lot of its hopes on international expansion, the UK seems an odd place to start. The popularity of DFS in the US is largely considered to be the result of a lack of legal sports betting options, whereas the UK is probably the most competitive online sports betting market on the planet. The current reliance of most DFS operators on the National Football League also gives one pause when considering DFS’ potential in the UK, where the NFL’s following consists largely of American ex-pats.

The application for licenses explicitly containing the word ‘gambling’ also flies in the face of DFS proponents’ longtime fudge that DFS isn’t gambling, per se. At the very least, it will encourage US politicians to consider formally regulating the DFS sector, and no doubt some ambitious US Attorney is itching to launch a Black Friday-style takedown of DFS sites as we speak.

In the meantime, DraftKings continues to attempt to broaden its US player base beyond the NFL. DraftKings is celebrating this Thursday’s kickoff of the US Open golf championship with its latest Millionaire Maker tournament, which carries a prize purse of $2.5m. That’s $300k more than the Masters Millionaire Maker promo DraftKings ran a couple months back. The Masters DFS tourney attracted 125k entries and the US Open has already attracted 127k of a possible 143k entries (at $20 apiece) as of Wednesday afternoon.


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